If you have ever experienced a burning sensation after a meal, you may be suffering from acid reflux, which is one of the signals of the body that something might be amiss.
We will explain the importance of stomach acid and suggest some ways to maintain the acid levels in the stomach.
These acids help digestion, which is the process of breaking down food into molecules which may be eliminated or absorbed by the body. They are used in the creation of new cells and energy.
Even though its function is helped by the teeth and other body parts, these acids bear the heaviest burden of digestion. It is mostly made of pepsin and hydrochloric acid, by the parietal cells in the stomach.
Hydrochloric acid is the primary acid in the so, it plays a major role in the absorption of essential minerals like iron, sodium, and magnesium. On the other hand, pepsin is an enzyme which decomposes proteins and is activated by the hydrochloric acid.
In most cases, acid reflux is related to high levels of the stomach acid, so these issues are often solved by an antacid which neutralizes the stomach acid.
However, this may not be the proper treatment, as according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, there is a strong relation between proton-pump inhibiting antacids and dementia.
Actually, antacids treat hyperacidity, but acid reflux is a deficiency of stomach acid, or “hypochlorhydria “, so in the lack of it, the food remains in the stomach and ferments, leading to gas which affects the esophagus and causes heartburn.
Low stomach acids can be a result of various factors, including:
- Overeating and eating too quickly
- Excessive intake of protein (especially red meat), fatty foods and refined foods, dairy.
- Alcohol and carbonated beverages.
- Smoking, as it affects digestion, and decelerates the healing of the stomach’s lining.
- Long-term stress.
If someone with reduced levels of stomach acids takes an antacid, his digestive and defensive powers are weakened. In the case the food is not broken down properly, the body lacks important nutrients, which weakens the immune system, and leads to various diseases.
Namely, the stomach acid is one of the first and strongest defense weapons against harmful viruses and bacteria. For instance, it destroys H. Pylori, and in the case of its reduces levels, it thrives ad leads to ulcers.
Hypochlorhydria leads to numerous symptoms, like bloating, heartburn, acid reflux, constipation.
This is how to simply test the stomach acid levels at home:
It is a natural chemical substance from beets which improves stomach acids. According to research, the stomach’s levels of hydrochloric acid reduce with age after the age of 21. Both medical doctors and naturalists recommend its use in the case of hypochlorhydria. It also treats candida, thyroid issues, acne, and gallstones.
This simple test effectively shows if the levels of stomach acid are reduced.
Yet, before you conduct it, consult your doctor, and do not take betaine HCL in case you use anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin and ibuprofen. Furthermore, in case you have a history of ulcers or gastritis, you should not conduct the test as well.
Initially, purchase betaine hydrochloride from a health food store. It is affordable, costing from $0.06 to $0.09. Then, take one capsule at the first meal. If you feel pain, discomfort, or a warm sensation in the stomach afterward, stop the test. This means that you have healthy stomach acid levels.
If you do not experience any of these signs, continue the test, and increase the dose by one capsule at the next meal. Again notice if you experience such sensations. Go on to at most 7 capsules in a meal.
If you are able to consume more than one capsule after a meal, it means that you have hypochlorhydria. Its severity is determined by the number of capsules you can take. In case you experience the symptoms beyond a single capsule, you can take betaine HCL at a reduced dose.
The consumption of whole foods combined with betaine HCL will treat digestive issues, and restore the health of stomach acids. Additionally, make sure you avoid or limit the intake of processed and GMO foods and the use of pharmaceutical drugs.